(WACO, Texas) – Texas State Technical College’s Biomedical Equipment Technology program has loaned ventilators to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Hillcrest in Waco to use, if needed, during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

Terry Whitworth, a program instructor, said the Puritan Bennett 840 ventilators that students use in classes are the same kind used by hospital staff. Whitworth facilitated the loan, having worked at the hospital for several years before coming to TSTC.

The ventilators are being adapted for patient use with preventive maintenance kits, Whitworth said. He said ventilators typically require this after every 10,000 hours of use.

Mark Plough, TSTC’s statewide chair of the Biomedical Equipment Technology department, said this is the first time he remembers the program loaning equipment for medical use.

“It was just natural for us to say, ‘Sure, we are willing to help out,’” he said. “That is what biomedical equipment technicians do. When confronted with a problem, they jump in to solve it.”

Plough said the equipment loan signifies the willingness of TSTC and the hospital to work together for the greater good. He said other TSTC faculty have formerly worked at the Waco hospital, and some of the program’s alumni are employed at the health care provider’s facilities in central Texas.

Students taking Physiological Instruments II during the program’s fourth semester use ventilators, along with other respiratory and anesthesia equipment, as part of their training.  

“It shows the students the type of equipment they will see in a hospital environment,” Whitworth said.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu. 

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